Tag Archives: Tennis

Wimbledon generated 3.5m short clip video views across Facebook and Twitter

The AELTC has announced that they shared more than 300 short clips across Facebook and Twitter during the tournament, generating over 3.5m clip plays using Grabyo’s video platform.

Facebook saw the largest number of Wimbledon clip plays with over 1.5m views (42.9%), while 1.4m (40.6%) were on Twitter and nearly 600k (16.4%) were viewed within the Wimbledon.com based video gallery powered by Grabyo.

Continue reading Wimbledon generated 3.5m short clip video views across Facebook and Twitter

Wimbledon 2014: A Digital Review

At the last Digital Sport London event we were lucky enough to have with us Wimbledon’s Content & Communication Manager Alexandra Willis. Alexandra spoke last year at our half day London event so it was interesting to hear their plans for this year and how they turned out.

Just before this years Championship I interviewed Alexandra for the website to get some early insights into what they had in store for us (you can read the full interview here) and the interest in what they were doing was obvious from the attention the article received. So an audience of around 70 people listened intently to what Alex had to say on stage at Riley’s Sports Bar.

Continue reading Wimbledon 2014: A Digital Review

#DSLondon 10 with The Football League & Wimbledon [event]

Thank you to everyone who took time out to come along to last month’s successful Digital Sport London looking at the use of analytics and data in sport. Tomorrow night (23rd July) we’re taking a broader look at digital sport with insights into two different sports from those who work directly in it.

The venue has changed this month as we move back to Rileys Sports Bar (Haymarket) in the centre of London. Back in January 2013 we held a very successful event at the venue with the ever engaging Richard Ayers. Hopefully we will be back at this venue on a regular basis over the coming months.

Firstly we’ll be chatting to Russell Scott who looks after the digital team at The Football League. He’s been in the role for around a year now and has made some significant changes to both the internal set up of the organisation to bring it into the modern age and also externally with new mobile sites, live blogging platforms and training for the 90 football clubs who are part of Football league Interactive. Not to mention a revamp of their own digital channels and content to fill them.

I will be chatting to Russell and also give time for people to ask questions from the audience or on Twitter. You can also leave a question in the comment box at the bottom of this post if you’d like to do it that way too.

Following a drinks break (very important in sport) we’ll be hearing from Alexandra Willis. She will be taking us through the digital activities they employed at last month’s Wimbledon to engage with fans in ever more interesting and in-depth ways, both those within the grounds and others who are watching/keeping up to date around the world.

Again there will be opportunities to ask Alex questions and tap into her knowledge. I will be putting a few questions to her and, as with Russell, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved.

Thank you to our series sponsors; Brandwatch, Grabyo and Rawnet. Both Brandwatch and Grabyo will be demonstrating their products at the event so be sure to say hi and find out more about what they do and how they can potentially help your business (or clients).

There are over 50 people already signed up, so there is plenty of networking to be done over a couple of mid week drinks. Join us from 6pm (first talk starts at 7pm) by visiting the link below to book your place…


Interview: How Wimbledon has become one of the most digital events in sport

This week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with Alexandra Willis. She is the Content and Communications Manager at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) who look after Wimbledon. Meaning she is one busy lady at the moment!

The 2 week event starts on Monday with reigning champion Andy Murray number 3 seed, though probably not one of the favourites on 2014 form. The event has also been in the news with new initiatives with IBM and #DSLondon sponsor Grabyo. So what can we expect to see this year to keep fans engaged both at the event and watching from their homes?

To start with I asked Alexandra about the new IBM Social Media Command Centre, a platform that has been developed as a behind-the-scenes tool rather than publicly available. There are two main areas in which it will benefit both parties..

“It’s a great tool for IBM to use to monitor social buzz, enabling them to be able to balance their hosting requirements. So they know when to ramp it up when there is a rush of traffic and also scale down when things are a little quieter.  For us it’s about being able to see what the main topics people are talking about are and adjusting editorially. A good example would be Eugenie Bouchard in Australia when she reached the semi-finals – we can react and then tailor the content accordingly, making sure people people receive what they’re interested in at that particular time.”

But it’s not only from an editorial perspective that the Command Centre is helpful. They will also be able to see where people are tweeting from, who the influencers are, what are the trending topics and how people are responding to their posts, either positively or negatively. They’ve also made sure that they are screen grab-able so that they can fed into broadcast if needed and also enable them to produce a daily digest looking at who the buzz has been about.

Social Command Centre

Another big new move this year is the recent deal with real-time video sharing platform Grabyo. It’s not a new concept as both the US Open and Australian Open have done similar with recent Twitter acquisition SnappyTV, but it’s a really interesting one that fans will love.

“We were impressed by the capability to share video content in real-time. We’ve decided not to commercialise it and instead are putting our focus into ensuring it is the best fit possible for our output. We want to encourage people to tune into broadcast and engage with matches. We’ll be showing moments such as walk-ons, crowd reactions and funny moments rather than match highlights. We’re not competing with the broadcasters but complementing what they do and encouraging people to tune in.”

Another IBM/Wimbledon initiative that has gained the attention of many in the industry, especially following a launch event at the Apple Store in Covent Garden with Tim Henman last week. In previous years the technology has concentrated on interacting with fans who are not at the tournament. Now they want to bring those visiting the famous venue more into the fold.

This ‘Hill Vs World‘ idea has been born out of wanting to interact with all fans no matter where they are. Using the IBM Social Media Command Centre to power it, they will be asking fans questions throughout the tournament. The difference here is that fans on Henman Hill will be asked a question and a hashtag to respond. The same question will be asked on other platforms and in broadcast with another hashtag. Then they’ll compare the answers, a bit like a Twitter battle, pitching both sets of fans against each other.

Hill Vs World

One issue that tennis has to face every two years is a clash with major football tournaments, such as the World Cup. So I asked Alexandra how they deal with this. Do they just ignore it and go on as usual or embrace it?

“We’re not going to ignore the fact the World Cup is taking place, in fact quite the opposite. On Google Plus we’re running a fun campaign where we’re asking fans to send in their photos of where they’re watching Wimbledon. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Brazil for the football or anywhere else in the world. If we tried to ignore it then it would be counterproductive. It’s also interesting to see what impact second screen viewing will have and see if the World Cup actually has less of an impact than usual.”

Google Plus has long been a platform that has split opinion within the industry, not just in sport but digital as a whole. But it’s one that Wimbledon has embraced and seen them grow to above the 1m fan mark. So how did they achieve this?

“In 2013 we ran a competition where we asked fans to send in photos of them in their Wimbledon whites or showing the grass they were playing on. People really like the creative engagement and getting involved. Our success has been in sharing pictures, both our own and fans, and the link with YouTube is also strong. Tailoring content for specific platforms is important and I think fans appreciate that.”

So what else can we expect across the Wimbledon social media platforms? On Twitter they will have a Twitter Mirror installed in the queue and they’ll be asking people to get involved with a daily selfie competition. On Instagram they will be installing an ‘InstaBooth’ in the player’s lounge where the players will be giving their thoughts on how the day has gone and other behind-the-scenes info.

The ‘Live at Wimbledon’ shows will be back on YouTube. Providing daily content from every day of the competition with their studio set up and commentators giving fans alternative insights into the game. There may be a Google Hangout or two but the issue of player access means that this is hard to plan for.

Another interesting area for events such as Wimbledon is, what do you do to engage with fans and carry on using social media platforms for the other 50 weeks of the year?  It turns out to be one that is very much down to the event owners themselves and there is no set rule.

“This is where social media has proved to be really strong for us. People appreciate updates from around the year, whether it be the courts covered in snow or players turning up for a hit. Some of it is planned and some is done on the fly. We don’t know when a player might turn up but we do know when certain events are happening so we are able to plan for them.”

At the end of the tournament, all these activations and ideas will be looked at both internally and externally and everyone will have a view on whether it was a success. But what does success look like for Alexandra?

“Numbers are not so important to us. It’s more about engaging with fans and ensuring anyone who wants to follow the event can do so. The perception of the brand and ensuring that all fans have a good experience across all platforms is really important to us. Last year we saw almost 20m users across all devices, with over 50% coming from mobile devices. Although we’re expecting a bit of a dip this year due to the World Cup.”

Thanks to Alexandra for taking time out to speak with me during what must be one of the most hectic weeks of her year. You can follow Alexandra on @Alex_Willis and make sure you catch the tournament which starts on Monday!

YouTube Preview Image


Wimbledon to bring near-live video highlights to a global digital audience

Grabyo, the real-time video company, is today announcing a major deal with The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to bring near-live highlights from Wimbledon to a global digital audience of billions. The partnership will see the AELTC share real-time video highlights to tennis fans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, in order to engage social media users and drive tune-in for broadcasters around the world.

As the longest running and most prestigious tennis tournament, The Championships, Wimbledon, already attracts a billion-strong television audience globally. By sharing near-live match clips and audience reactions from Centre Court, No.1 Court and No.2 Court across Wimbledon’s suite of digital and social media platforms, the AELTC will be able to further extend its reach and deliver a real-time experience to those not already watching the live action.

The AELTC will use Grabyo’s social video platform to instantly create and distribute real-time video clips across Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.  It will also distribute longer form highlights from each day on Wimbledon.com and on YouTube. The social media experience will compliment the TV experience, which will be delivered by a network of broadcasters across 200 territories. Alongside the broadcast coverage, tennis fans can enjoy Live @ Wimbledon, the AELTC’s live video and radio channel, delivered on Wimbledon.com and the official apps.

“Each year we challenge ourselves to deliver the best possible experience for Wimbledon fans, whether they’re here on the grounds or enjoying the action across TV, radio and online. We’re excited to be working with Grabyo to deliver a world-class, multi-platform and real-time experience to billions of fans around the world. It will help us in our ambition of making Wimbledon’s digital platform the next best thing to being here, and encourage tune-in for fans not already watching.” – Alexandra Willis, Content and Communications Manager at AELTC

“We see huge and immediate spikes in traffic as premium sports content is shared to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. All of this is complimentary to YouTube, where video content can attract audiences longer-term,” comments. This is particularly exciting as it will be the first time a major sports rights holder has delivered real-time video highlights to a global audience across multiple social platforms.” – Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon.

Grabyo recently revealed that 72% of its video traffic is mobile, illustrating how effective real-time social video is at reaching an increasingly mobile audience. The mobile-first platform regularly scales to hundreds of thousands of users within seconds as clips are shared.


The ‘Social Shack’ and having fun with Vine: Interview with Tennis Australia’s Daniel Lattimer

We’re delighted to bring you some insights from the current Australian Open, which is now well into it’s first week in the searing heat.  Daniel Lattimer is the Social Media Coordinator for Tennis Australia, a position he has held since 2011, and has been working on Australian Opens since 2010.  So he’s now an experienced hand when it comes to running the digital side of a Grand Slam tennis event.

We managed to grab a few minutes of his time between games…

Thank you Daniel for taking time out from your busy day.  The 2014 Australian Open is now upon us once again, how excited are you about a years worth of planning coming to fruition?

It’s always exciting to have such large event on the horizon that allows you to try new initiatives, especially in the digital and social space. It’s hard to tell how your ideas will go, with such a long time between tournaments, but it adds to the excitement and anticipation  of the tournament.


The AO always appears to be looking to break new ground especially in digital.  Can we expect anything new this year?

Our two biggest initiatives this year are the ‘Social Shack‘ and developing our apps for mobile. We working on weaving social media into everything we create, for example the iPad app –  Fans will be able to tweet messages of support to their favourite players directly from a player profile. The shack is an idea to bring all of the great content and publishing we do online for social into a localised physical space. We’ll be producing content, like twitter q&a’s and inviting players down to the studio to interact with fans. We’re concentrating on bringing fans closer to the tournament and players, deepening out engagement.

YouTube Preview Image


Last year we saw that the event had a presence on a number of platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare and Pinterest).  Has this altered after last year’s event?  And do you see a role for the likes of Foursquare, G+ and Pinterest in the future?

There is definitely a role for all of these channels plus more! However, we don’t want to overload the audience when they first connect with us. So we concentrate on the larger ones in terms of promotion and continue to work on the other channels to experiment with content and what experience we can offer for those audiences.


The Social Leaderboard has been one of my favourite features over the past couple of years.  What we can expect from it this time round?

Thanks :-) We continue to develop the leaderboard with our partner IBM tracking conversation and sentiment. There haven’t been a lot of changes this year, we’ve made the leaderboard more prominent on the website, but we continue to weave social media into a variety of activities across our digital platforms and developing the social shack has been a priority for this years tournament.

Social Leaderboard


Vine seems to be a tool that you are using a lot this year.  Has there been a lot of testing with it over the past few months? and what content can we expect to see?

We’ve had a lot of fun with Vine and try to create unique content. The difficulty with this is time and getting a quick turnaround. You will see some behind the scenes and match point content with Vine, but we’re also using Snappy TV to turn around quick video content on Twitter. Our aim is always to get ‘the moment’ out on our channels as quickly as possible.


Aside from Vine, video content was a major trend last year. What are your plans for the likes of YouTube this time round?  I saw some of the Rod Laver/Roger Federer night live on the platform that was available to fans outside of Australia. Will you be doing the same for some matches?

Broadcast rights mean we can’t live stream within certain territories, including Australia. In the lead up we stream the qualifying and wildcard playoffs. We understand the desire of the audience for video and with the use of platforms like Vine  we hope to turn around quick bite-size content alongside features and highlights.


I read recently about the #sleepisfortheweak crew. How did that come about and how did you as part of the event step in to engage with these international fans?

This occurred very organically a few tournaments ago and one of the team members just thought of the hashtag, from there, it’s grown into a tribe that we engage with yearly. We really love the way it has developed organically and enjoy having a group of followers that have really embraced it. We see the hashtag appear during other Grand Slams. We like that.


You made a big push on the iPad with the app last year.  How much interaction are you now seeing from mobile and tablets? 

We see a massive growth in mobile with 2013 apps and this growth hasn’t slowed. We’ve developed an iPad app this year focused around the players, scores and draw, again weaving in social media, being able to tweet to players directly and the australian open


We’ve been talking a lot here in the UK about ‘networked stadiums’, ensuring wifi and/or 3G connectivity. Is this something you see as being essential for fans attending the event, and how do you ensure they can get onto Twitter/Facebook?

Definitely an essential to have and our IT department and various stakeholders improve on this greatly each year. Especially with the onsite presence of the social shack, fans being able to share content immediately is a huge advantage.


You’re now in the midst of your busiest time.  What will a ‘normal’ day entail for you during the tournament?

Once the tournament is here we set our plans in motion and spend most of the day ironing out bugs and making sure we’re keeping the audience up to date with all the latest. It’s the busiest in terms of covering a lot of matches and events in the first week. When the playing field thins out it’s still a made house because the level of matches goes up a notch and everyone is looking at the one match on centre court, so being able to feed that content to the audience is important.


Once it is all over, many people find that the downtime between events/campaigns is the hardest to keep fans engaged during.  How do you plan for that and what have you been doing these last 11 months to keep them on board?

The amount that we publish decreases but we continue to update our audience with highlights and stories from the tournament. We also have archived match AOvault which we publish. Competitions and engagement with our Grand Slams.


Thanks to Daniel for taking time out from a very busy Australian Open to answer these questions.  How has the tournament been going so far from what you have seen?  have you been to the Social Shack?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.


8 out of top 10 UK Twitter trends in 2013 sports related

Twitter has released its top UK trends of the year so far (there are still a few days left for something to creep in there) and it will come to little surprise, to fans or Twitter users, that sport leads the way for when people are using the platform most.

Last year the Olympics brought the country together in a way we’ve never seen before.  It was truly the social media games and gives Rio in 2016 a hell of a benchmark to work to.  This year we haven’t had that key sporting event so the field is more widely spread.

Football was again the big winner, with the biggest spike seen on Twitter in the UK being Manchester United being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.

It’s interesting that this was ahead of the biggest sporting news for the country this year.  That was of course Andy Murray becoming the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry back in 1936.  That only made 3rd place in the table.

The other big sporting moments were;

  • England draw 2-2 with Brazil in a friendly, in a match that marked the official reopening of the Maracanã stadium ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup
  • Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund (2-0) in the Champions League semi-final second leg, but are knocked out of the championships on aggregate
  • Wigan win the FA Cup Final, the first major trophy in their history
  • England beat Scotland 3-2 in an international friendly at Wembley
  • Bayern Munich beat FC Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, equalling Barcelona’s worst ever European defeat in their history
  • England beat Poland 2-0, qualifying for a place in the Brazil 2014 World Cup

So what were those non-sporting moments that deprived sport of taking all 10 places?  They were New Years Eve and Mumford & Sons closing performance at Glastonbury.

Digging more into football and sport generally.  You can see the Top 10 trends for both sections, showing how big football is in this country.  It is our number 1 sport by some distance for a reason.

One interesting fact to take out of the ‘other sport’ table is that 4 were events that happened outside of the UK and didn’t involve any british teams/players.  They were of course, #NFL, #ThankYouSachin, Superbowl and #RedSox.  Showing that when you take away football, our sporting tastes are quite eclectic when placed alongside rugby, cricket, tennis, athletics and F1.

Twitter sport 2013



Summer of Sport: Comparison of 4 Sports Events and their use of Twitter

Sports Digital Agency Seven League, founded by Richard Ayers (former Head of Digital at Manchester City), has put together an interesting piece of research based around one month of sporting events in the UK.  Here is what they found…

Within two weeks at the end of June and start of July 2013, there were four great sporting moments in the space of a fortnight;

  • The British and Irish Lions defeating Australia in the 3rd Test
  • The British GP at Silverstone
  • The Wimbledon Finals weekend
  • The First Test of the Ashes

Whilst the shortest of these was only 80 minutes, when you consider the build-up and the aftermath there is a significant window of attention around each event.  It’s important that the Twitter accounts for each sport capitalise on this attention by building up to the event, covering the day of the event, having live coverage and then maintaining their activity post event.  They compared the four major events in order to understand the differences, strengths and weaknesses in their twitter performance.


Four different approaches were taken to tweeting across the events


›  The Lions tweets were informative and celebratory, with a larger emphasis on rallying support from followers than any of the other events

British GP 

›  The Silverstone account was mainly used for customer service — it primarily tweeted responses to questions and traffic information, with very few general tweets discussing the race


›  Wimbledon’s tweets were very informative, focused mainly around set commentary and quoting from interviews after matches. They used hashtags more than any of the other three events

The First Test

›  The ECB First Test coverage follows a distinct pattern —behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the players warming up in the morning, commentary of the tests in the afternoon and finally links to interviews/videos from that day in the evening. They are the only account to really tap into audio, and were more comfortable using a wider range of platforms (e.g. Vine)

Summer of Sport



Silverstone takes a very different approach to the other three events. It’s very much about customer service rather than engaging and exciting fans.  Of the other three:

The ECB has the best balance of media tweets — it shares photographs, videos and links evenly. It also is the only account to use audio.  Wimbledon and The ECB are both very informative. However, Wimbledon goes into so much detail that it would alienate casual fans. In contract the ECB appeals more to both casual and hardline fans by only giving basic information in tweets whilst providing links for fans to find out more.  Wimbledon and The Lions were very good at including details of the experience of the event day itself for fans at home.

tweets per day


types of tweets per day



Comparisons by Day – Pre Event


pre match tweeting behaviour


pre event tweeting 2


pre event tweeting behaviour 3



Comparisons by Day – During Event Tweeting


event day tweets


event day tweets 2


event day tweets 3



Comparisons by Day – Post Event Tweeting


post event tweets


post event tweets 2


post event tweets 3



adidas Tennis test Vine for Djokovic campaign

We’ve seen a number of clubs and brand’s test out Twitter’s short-form video capture/sharing tool Vine over the past few months.  Some have used it to reveal players they have signed and others to capture moments during a game that can quickly be shared.

Now adidas Tennis, who I used to work with during my time at We Are Social, have been looking at ways in which to tease out their new campaign.  The basis from it was a video that gives an insight into the training regime of World number 1, Novak Djokovic, with ‘Performance meets Personality‘.

Twitter recently published the results of an experiment they worked on the MLB over in the States.  It was based around live-tweeting but gave an interesting insight into the sharability of Vine videos compared to other types of content.  It revealed that across all other measures of engagement, Vine videos dramatically increased the ways that followers interacted with a team. The overall impact was that Vines got:

  • 2.3x more retweets than average
  • 1.7x more follower growth
  • 1.8x more mentions
  • 2.1x more favorites

People tweeted more often when the teams posted Vine videos than when they used any of the other live-tweeting strategies — a nearly 5% increase compared to the control sample.

For a brand, the platform represents a different way in which to take snippets of content ahead of a bigger launch.  Could this have the same traction and create the same effect as when it’s used for live-tweeting?  It was tested out with 3 Vines ahead of the video reveal and collectively they gained over 1,000 RT’s and almost the same in favourites – not bad for an account of 40k followers.

The video itself has received around 35k views which, for a video from one of the worlds biggest sports brands and featuring a player with a massive personality and almost as big social media presence (2.3m on Twitter), is a little smaller than am sure was hoped.  It shows that people when it comes to sharing and consuming short form content are a lot happier to do it than in full on an external site such as YouTube.

It also shows the power of engaging with the sports player and involving them in the promotion.  When they have such power on social networks (and in the media generally) then they can push a campaign far more than the brand can on its own.  It’s an interesting campaign by adidas Tennis and their Vine video’s look much better (more professional) then most we have seen.  Am sure we’ll see more from adidas and other brands as the testing and app updates take place over the coming months.


Twitter: Top Moments From Wimbledon 2013

Last infographic for a while I promise!  There has been a bit of rush of them recently with so much sport going on.  This one is produced by the guys at Social Bakers.  Here is more information from them on their findings;

Which top tennis player gained the most mentions on Twitter? Did your country create the most buzz around the championship? To find out the answers and more, check out our infographic dedicated to the Wimbledon craze!

There was collective disbelief, shock, and awe as Great Britain toasted their first home champion since the long-trouser-wearing Fred Perry 77 years ago. The major success of Andy Murray, referred to as the first British man to win Wimbledon in shorts, was intensively shared via social media.

The official Wimbledon Twitter account provided its followers with regular updates and the number of mentions about this account went through the roof. The profile acquired 135 820 followers and was mentioned 411 348 times during the championship (June 24th – July 7th).

It’s no wonder that United Kingdom, the home of Wimbledon, became the most active to tweet about the matches, the players, and the overall atmosphere from the courts. Almost 70K tweets were posted in response to the fact that a British player finally got his hands on the trophy after eight decades!

French player Marion Bartoli dominated the women´s singles and ended her long wait for a major crown. For the most mentioned players, the most engaging tweets, and the Wimbledon buzz map, check out the infographic!